STREET PERFORMANCE. Performers of Barangay Estefania, the grand champion in the street and arena dance competition, during the 2019 MassKara Festival in Bacolod City. The festival is returning after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic. (File photo courtesy of Bacolod City PIO)

BACOLOD CITY – The city government here is providing a total of PHP5.35 million in financial assistance to the barangays participating in the street dance and float competitions during the highlights of the Masskara Festival on Oct. 22 and 23.

As of Friday, 30 villages have confirmed to compete, including 17 in the street and arena dance competition and 13 in the Electric Masskara float and dance-off contest.

“The Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) approved the proposed memorandum of agreements granting financial aid for barangays participating in Masskara Festival street dance and Electric Masskara dance competitions,” the city government said in a statement.

Participating barangays in the street dance competition will get PHP200,000 each, totaling PHP3.4 million, while those joining the Electric Masskara will receive PHP150,000 each or a total of PHP1.95 million.

This year, the grand champion of the street and arena dance competition will be awarded a cash prize of PHP1 million while the top winner of the Electric Masskara contest will get PHP500,000.

Festival chair Pinky Mirano-Ocampo had earlier said that coming up with quality performances and costumes costs a lot of money which is why the participating barangays would be granted more financial assistance this year.

She added that Bacolod wants to attract visitors to the festival by showcasing excellence in these competitions.

“After two years of missing out on one of the grandest festivals in the country, Bacolod is ready to smile again as we recover from the pandemic and under a new and dynamic leadership,” Ocampo said. (PNA)